Thursday, April 9, 2009

This and That

Hey bloggers...thank you so much for the feedback on MITN XVI. You brought up several things about the part of the chapter that's finished which I hadn't even considered...good stuff...I like the way you think. There's actually a lot to think about when you're dealing with Greek words like petra/petros (there's a big debate about the use of these synonyms for "rock" between Roman Catholic and Protestant Aramaic, Jesus would have simply said to Peter, "You are Kepha...") and the use of "Hades", the Greek mythological ruler of the underworld...especially when you remember that Greek was not Jesus' native tongue...

But my intention in creating the paraphrase is not to add one more voice to the argument about the use of words. Not only am I not interested in entering into that debate, I'm not really even that qualified to do so. But, as I said last night at LifeSkills, a paraphrase of Scripture is sort of like a singer interpreting someone else's song. For instance, on this blog's playlist is Aretha Franklin's rendition of Bridge Over Troubled Waters. It's still Paul Simon's song, and always will be, but her interpretation of it causes you to hear the song in a new way, and, as a result, makes you like (or in my case, love) the song even more...

The Bible In The Now series is not meant to be a potential replacement of the official paraphrases and translations that are available, neither is it meant to compete with them in any way. It's just my personal "cover" of the greatest Song ever written...a Song that I've been singing to people practically all of my life...and I only want to do my interpretation of that Song so that maybe...hopefully...people will hear some subtle, nuanced things that the Composer wrote into it, which might have been lost on them in the familiarity of it...

Anyway, Passover 2009 starts today, the 9th of April, and will continue for 7 days until Wednesday, the 15th. In the story of the Exodus, the Bible tells that God inflicted ten plagues upon the Egyptians before Pharaoh would release his Israelite slaves, with the tenth plague being the killing of firstborn sons. The Hebrews were instructed to mark the doorposts of their homes with the blood of a spring lamb and, upon seeing this, the Spirit of the Lord (some traditions say the Angel of the Lord, or the Angel of Death) passed over these homes, hence the term "Passover".

In the Jewish calender, a holiday begins on the sunset of the previous day, so observing Jews began celebrating Passover last night at sundown.

Today is also Maundy Thursday (also known as Holy Thursday or Great and Holy Thursday...the Christian feast or holy day falling on the Thursday before Easter that commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles. It is the fifth day of Holy Week, and is preceded by Holy Wednesday and followed by Good Friday.

On this day four events are commemorated: the washing of the Disciples' Feet by Jesus, the institution of the Last Supper, the agony of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, and His betrayal by Judas Iscariot.

So, today's an important day, and this is an important week. I am looking forward to celebrating Resurrection with all of you this coming Sunday...


Ebony said...

Bishop I think that metaphor is the best one to describe the Bible in the now, or biblical translations in general. I am personally loving every chapter. It's also interesting that you mentioned the start of Passover this week. I remember talking to a friend of mine about the proximity of the two holidays and he reminded me that it should be that way because Jesus was the final Passover lamb. I can't wait until Sunday's service either.

Erik said...

From a religious standpoint, I am likely the least qualified to speak to this particular holiday week. However, sans the religious aspect, we ALL are extremely qualified.

This is the ultimate celebration and bash of our calendar year.

Although we often put Christmas/Winter Solstice in that category, which has merit; it is this celebration following the vernal equinox, the experiential rebirth and natural portrayal of renewing that really takes the cake. The celebration of resurrected life that is celebrated annually. The hills, trees, Earth cries out (once on each side of the equator, so actually twice a year) and through our souls in this dimension.

The Blood of Life, planned from the foundation, retroactive, so every act before we saw it, and since is covered the same.

From the time Lady Wisdom helped lay the foundations of The Universe. Create, Procreate , Recreate, Resurrect, Repeat again infinitum with angle changes every time.

See what I mean about the ultimate celebration ?

Judas is always a challenging hero. The deep friend of Jesus, the only one who could carry out such a heavy burden, while trusting his loved friend that this must be done, trusting even though he could not understand. In that trust, Judas lost all that he knew in the natural in that last shared meal. He sacrificed all natural connections to do what his friend asked.

We see a partially, tangentially similar situation in a spouse with a terminal, painful disease who asks their spouse to help them euthanize. The Law will crucify the surviving spouse. But they do it anyway. It is tangential, but maybe the only current somewhat example of what took place.

Peter, John, certainly Mary Magdalene could not bring themselves to do it, nor would they ever be asked. It required the relationship only Judas and Jesus had- The politics, the sacrifice of reputation forever in the natural. What a blessing, what a curse. The love of God, self, and brother in the extreme , forsaking everything natural. A role that could only be seen in the Spirit. Agreed at the foundation. Praise God for John, Mary (both of them),Peter, and all the rest, and Praise God for Judas.

Northern Light said...

Bear with me here, I know it looks like I am writing an article for you. You really inspired something in me tonight and I believe the Holy Spirit got me up from sleep (after my daughter, initially) and led me to turn this computer back on. It's 2:00 AM.

I love this blog and the place it affords us to share ourselves in many ways. Our perceptions, our beliefs, our dreams, our concerns, our questions, our longings, our shortcomings, our desires, our faith.

I just read the post....Holy Week~
This week has always, and I believe will always, be a most treasured one to me. In memories and in faith.

I must say it saddens me when someone raises an eyebrow or smirks or has a negative aura about them when I mention my being raised Catholic. As if that questions my "Christianity", my grasp and understanding of Jesus, and the need to qualify me. Perfect example of what you spoke about tonight in LifeSkills, "oh well, is that what you think of me and what I do or don't have? hhmm..well, I'm okay".. but thanks for asking/caring/whatever)

IF I must say, and I happily do so, I must have been dually blessed. Dually, in that I have the respect and tradition and yes, some rituals, that I love and appreciate from being brought up in Catholicism. For all that may be questioned in particular rules or practices, I do love and at times surely do miss the reverence for some things, still not found in the smaller community and non-denominational, Christian churches. I am not on a soapbox or complaining. God led me and my family presently away from worshipping in the Catholic church for HIS purpose and I'm sure for what HE intends for me to do with it all. I share this aspect/perspective with you all, my CITN family, because sharing our faith and histories is so awesome a gift. I learn so much when you blog or give testimony at service, when I'm streaming in. I am fed twice a week from Bishop and carry it out throughout the week with me, so I wanted to give this to you all. I know some of you will have no idea the Catholic Church worships like this. With full biblical knowledge of what and why.

To my point....I come from a "Bible studying, small home group believing, get out and tell people about Jesus and get those lost sheep back in the house of God next Sunday" Catholic church. YES, there is such a thing. 'Nuff said.

THIS HOLY WEEK is special because of all that I learned to love about these days.

We celebrated Traditional Seder, totally Kosher and "by the book" of appreciation by those Jewish friends that attended.(I was in charge of it and it grew from 25 to 100 people wanting a seat for the sit down dinner and whole experience....whew)
Maundy Thursday (tonight) we would have a footwashing service, followed by a Communion service.
Then we began a fast. (those 14 and over that could/would participate, various options)
Good Friday afternoon service 12-3pm, sights and sounds of what those three hours must have been like.....WOW Can't tell you the powerful emotion remembering so many of those afternoons the skies growing dark and rain...
This "fast" continued for the three days until we would break-the-fast(break-fast) with a buffet of goodies and breakfast foods at midnight on Saturday night/Easter Sunday morning after an evening service, the Easter Vigil. The Easter morning Ressurection service becomes even more powerful after the past 72 hours.....We would end the mass with praise and shouting out, HE IS RISEN....HE IS RISEN INDEED
Oh man, I am so excited for the day, even though I will celebrate it in our church we attend, which is not Catholic, but it's not for finding fault with, it is just where God led us. We all know how that is, here at CITN, whether ITB or streamers, right? I will come home and stream in to hear a Word from Bishop and worship with those of you blessed enough to be ITB and celebrate MORE!!

Placed where we are, we come who we are, where we came from and what we bring to our experiece of worship.

GOD OUR HEAVENLY FATHER is so happy to see us!

I really felt I was to tell all that, I thank you for letting me share it, for reading it, and if it's any Word to someone, God Bless! HE IS RISEN.....HE IS RISEN, INDEED !

Tonight our church I currently attend will do a Footwashing Service and then a church service. If you have an opportunity to attend one like it somewhere, man it is a powerful thing.

Jesus washed feet.......can you imagine if it was YOURS >?

Northern Light

Son of Zadok said...

Hey Erik, to further your point and on a side note, we also can't forget that scripture says that Judas would reign in heaven. Christ promised him, along with eleven more that they would sit on twelve thrones. Did Christ lie to him or revoke the promise? Certainly not.

Also that's a good word Northern Light. The word Catholic actually means Universal. A lot of Catholics don't know that. "The Holy Universal Church", sure adds a new twist read with its original intent. I've never been "Catholic" in the traditional sense of the word, but I have certainly been blessed by many who are. Sometimes we like to discourage the existence of any denomination or variant from our "religion", and in some age maybe those imposed labels will cease, but to the pure in heart we can find God working in them all.

Brenda said...

Bishop just wanted you to know that you have accomplished with me what you have set out to do with your writings. Passages that I have read for ever and studied come to light even the more as I read them in a more NOW setting. Its like God has taken the blinders off and I can see him.
I can't wait until Sunday's service also because I know God is going to show up and show out.
Each year I give up something for the forty days leading up to Resurrection Sunday and this year I chose a hard one for me but I'm thankful that I made it and now that thing no longer plagues me and I feel so much better about me. I had help from one of the members of the church who was agreeing with me and her prayers really helped along with the Holy Spirit.
When I think of Jesus washing his disciples feet it brings back the memory of my son-in-law being ordained and you washed his feet. I just could not believe it and still I marvel at it because I have never seen anything like it and I don't know of any other Bishop or Pastor that would do it. Then you are not like anyone that I know as Jesus was in his day and still is, doing things that would confound the wise.

Anonymous said...

Love is forgiving and for giving.

Anonymous said...

Great word Erik, your use of the word procreate in the note on Lady Wisdom laying the foundation caught my attention first. That word has been rumbling around with me for a while. I think it is mostly because of the prefix pro that is percieved to mean forward. When we accept that moving forward is what the universe does no matter what objections we have about it then it makes our view of the now sweeter. The only (pro)ductive thing that makes sense is to take the good stuff from the (pro)gress of the pilgrims before us and add it to our (pro)cessing of the now and hope that our decisions will help us to (pro)ceed toward a meaningful contribution to the (pro)duct of a (pro)digy worthy of being called a greater work than has been done.

I personally agree with SOZ view of Judas present disposition and both admire and respect your courage to acknowledge his contribution to where we are today. Like many others of my day and exposures, it has been hard to relate to that disciple but when we really look inward deep enough it can not be denied that there is a Judas in our heart. What we choose to do with that Judas is a big question that depending on our answer can lead us to a (pro)found place among other humans. We may either become (pro)gnostic or even an effective part of the (pro)gnosis toward accomplishing the intent of our (PRO)genitor.

I love you man,


Anonymous said...

May we chose to let that which shines within, shine out for all to see. wv...inglo

Anonymous said...


Without not really knowing how to put this, I will just say it.
I think the Bible in the Now series is so appropriate because it certainly speaks to many hearts. For the time that I have been at Church in the Now so far, I have learned so much and this is with reading and hearing the WORD before. You are such a unique teacher in that the way you connect with people as you teach them gives them many light bulb moments. Bishop, no one can teach it quite like you. Many times, I have said to!! I heard that before but MG!!! that is what is means. This was so nicely put and so true "a paraphrase of Scripture is sort of like a singer interpreting someone else's song. For instance, on this blog's playlist is Aretha Franklin's rendition of Bridge Over Troubled Waters. It's still Paul Simon's song, and always will be, but her interpretation of it causes you to hear the song in a new way, and, as a result, makes you like (or in my case, love) the song even more..."
So, to sum it all up, you make me see the WORD in a whole new light. And today, "I am not afraid of the gospel of Christ".


Anonymous said...

I need Help!

This morning, I hear the Spirit of the Lord ask me to call someone I used to be friend with, to talk to her about something that happened, but did not realize the effect or the damage it will cause the other person when it happens.
Because I have not speaking with that person for so long, I am a little reluctant to do it. As a matter of fact I still am reluctant and I don’t want to do it at all. I've been wrestle with the idea of me calling her all morning. So, as some of you know, when I am not sure or double minded about something, and cannot whether that it is not me or my spirit- man who wants to do something, that I am not too comfortable of doing, I call my partner in crime [which is my husband]. I told him about what I heard in my spirit for me to do and my dilemma to make the call because I am not sure of what I heard. The minutes I started to tell him, he said to me “I wouldn’t bother or go there with her. Let her work out her own Salvation!”

My question is “How can you let someone work out his/her own Salvation, when he/she does not realize his/her faults?”
Please help me! Not because I think my husband wrong of telling me for to work out her own Salvation. It because I don’t want to be in disobedient to what the Lord wants me to do.

Waiting for answers!
Thank you for helping.

In His peace, joy, and love

lhollow27 said...

Kettly-sounds like you have really already received your word. Let your YES be YES....and your NO be NO. It's often a struggle of mine when I try to diffrenciate Gods voice over my own. This is when I have to seek HIM in worship and make the air around me sterile. It will come to you if it is the right thing. Perhaps you should consider this is a word where you may interceed for your friend....she may really need that right now. Whatever happens, just know that you will do what ever it is you are supposed to do..
GREAT-GREAT feedback here today. I love this week and I am excited about being ITB to celebrate.I need some church. I personally have been struggling with my own issues...I need to tune into some PRAISE AND WORSHIP right now...

karl cobos said...

Well said Bishop!

karl cobos said...

Great words here everybody, really cool!

Thanks to those who wrote about Judas, I had been pondering those things before.

Also...can someone explain to me why if Jesus died on Friday, after 3 days he rose, wouldn't that make it Monday?...need help.

word ver: wella

A well of...

Northern Light said...

My understanding of it, having asked the same question is that actually if we read the words are "on the third day" he rose .....well, since events began on Friday, as counting that day #1,it makes Sunday as the 3rd day when the tomb was found empty and Resurrection had occured.

It made sense, and I have never questioned it again. But that's my say on it. Interesting to see what others have been instructed on this and what else you may get.

Peace brother,
Northern Light

Izumi/JOY said...

Hey everybody,

Long, but productive day. Have checked in periodically, but never long enough to post. I'm thoroughly enjoying everybody's comments.

As for feedback on MITN XVI, it's been a journey for me; a good one.

Re: Peter & the name debate. I'm not qualified to argue, either. (not that it ever stopped me, before - heh) Just appreciate discovering things I never noticed. (even after reading them a bazillion times)

Like, how Peter's name, Simon, (Simeon) means, "hearing", then reading how he cut off another man's ear!

Transportable trail mix; I've said that before.

While out getting Easter basket fillers, I was mentally blogging. Earlier, I'd read that Peter's brother (Andrew) might have been a follower of John the Baptist, suggesting that possibly Peter was, too.

Their similarities & differences struck me as humorous. (John, the leather-girdled-camel-vested-desert-voiced prophet, and Peter, the formerly naked, but, hearing the Lord was nearby, quickly-clad-&-water-treading disciple) God love 'em.

John, the forerunner, attempted to prevent Jesus from being baptized by himself, and noted that he wasn't worthy of carrying His sandals.

Jesus offered to wash Peter's feet. But, he wasn't having that. After hearing the Lord's response, he desired for his hands and head to be washed as well.

On God's timetable, all of it fulfilled righteousness.

Tired tonight; probably rambling. Mercy, Lord. I like how you all provoke me to think, too.

Good night, beloved Universe.


Izumi/JOY said...

Good Friday morning,

I peeked in & noticed a candle's glow. Glad to see this door still open. I awoke with thoughts about John the Baptist & Simon "Petros" -could hardly wait to tell someone.

Thought it was interesting how the name Jonah is a form of John, and if Peter formerly did follow the baptizer, then, he'd be a son of John in the natural, as well as the spiritual sense.

Also, remember when Jonah heard from God? He told him to get up & go prophesy to a wicked city. Instead, Jonah boarded a ship to escape The Voice. Shipmaster (!) & other mariners feared tossing the prophet overboard - perceiving innocent blood.

But, when Peter heard that it was The Voice (innocent blood) he was immediately ashamed, & covered his nakedness. Getting up from his place in the boat, he jumped into the water!

The acceleration & parallel of dimensions seems significant.